How to Clean a Wet Mattress

Here’s an overview of how to clean a wet mattress. We’ll take the time to address several different situations when you can find yourself needing to clean a wet mattress.

Urine Stains

Whether it is a pet accident or a child accident, you need to clean up a urine stain as quickly as possible. When faced with a urine stain, the ideal cleaning solution is one that is enzyme based. You can use cleaning products designed for pet accidents, too, including on the wet spot your child made.

Using a dry cloth, towel or paper towel, blot up as much of the liquid as possible. Just don’t rub or scrub, since this can push the urine into the fabric or batting. You can sprinkle the area with baking soda to absorb moisture and start neutralizing the smells. Make a solution from urine stain remover or enzyme based cleaner and water. If you don’t have this, make a solution of equal parts vinegar and warm water.

Spritz the stained area with the stain cleaner. Let it sit for five minutes. Then blot the area with a clean cloth or towel to try to lift up the stain. Repeat as necessary. You can put baking soda on the area to dry it out as fast as possible, then vacuum it up.

Other Stains

Maybe someone brought you breakfast in bed and you spilled the orange juice. Or you got stick and vomited in bed. The first thing you want to do is strip the bed to get the liquid mess out of the bed as quickly as possible so it can’t soak further into the layers. If you’re lucky, it stopped at the sheets or mattress protector. Throw any stained items into the wash as soon as possible.

Return to the mattress. Soak up the liquid with paper towels or cloth towels. Wring out the towels or rags in a sink, if necessary, and then try to soak up the rest of the liquid. Blot, not rub.

Apply enzyme cleaner if it is a biological mess, whether it is vomit or chicken soup. If you’re dealing with blood, hydrogen peroxide is the best choice. If you’re dealing with soda, coffee or wine, dishwasher or hand soap mixed with water can be used to clean the stained area.
Let the cleaner soak in and neutralize the mess. Then try to soak up the cleaner.

If necessary, get a wet sponge and blot the affected area before using dry towels to soak up the dirty water. Get new paper towels and blot the area to pull out the liquid. If the stains are deep, you could lay down a clean towel and press it down with books or other weights to try to pull out the moisture.

Water Stains

Sometimes the mattress is wet due to a natural or personal disaster. A flood or hurricane caused water to enter the home and get a mattress wet. If a mattress has been submerged for a long time in dirty water, assume it is not safe and should be disposed of. A wet mattress is a breeding ground for mold, mildew and bacteria, something only made worse if the flood waters carried sewage or debris.

If the mattress isn’t wet due to exposure to contaminated water, it may or may not be salvageable. If your toilet overflowed with clean water and got the mattress on the guest bedroom floor wet, you can sop up the liquid and try to dry it out. If the water heater overflowed and got mattresses propped up on the wall wet, you need to consider how long it was wet.

If mold is growing in the mattress, get rid of it. In the early stages, it looks like white fuzz inside the mattress. It turns green at the second stage and black at the third stage. If you see any of this, dispose of the mattress.

If the mattress has been wet for a short time, you can try to blot up the water with a towel and set fans on it to help it dry out. Sprinkle it with baking soda to help draw out the moisture. For a very wet mattress, cat litter can help speed up the process.

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